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Citrus Hill High School Senior, Lela Owens, Awarded Ronald McDonald Scholarship

By Naomi K. Bonman

On Saturday, June 11, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California (RMHCSC) awarded 94 accomplished college-bound seniors scholarship funds totaling $288,000 during a celebratory event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The scholarships and medals were awarded during a recognition ceremony where recipients were honored and commended by their families, school counselors, RMHCSC representatives, and Southern California McDonald’s owners and operators. Chris Pan, founder of myintent.org gave an inspiring keynote message before the celebrations ended with photos and well wishes.

“The scholarship luncheon is a great opportunity to recognize our scholarship recipients for their hard work in front of their friends, family and McDonald’s franchisees” said Vince Bryson, CEO, RMHCSC. “We are committed to providing opportunities and resources that strengthen families and are inspired by what these students have accomplished and are looking to achieve.”

Among those 94 students was Perris’ Citrus Hill High School senior, Lela Owens. Owens is involved in her school’s STEM program and will continue her education within the STEM field at Duke University where she will be majoring in Computer Science. After she graduates from college, Owens wants to dive into a career with a major technology company, such as Google or similar.

“The Ronald McDonald Scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Lela Owens stated on being awarded. “It will definitely help to pay my tuition.”

Owens emerged into the STEM field after enrolling an AP Physics class during her Junior year. Her teacher at the time inspired her to look into field after telling her about another young Black woman who took the AP Exam and passed it.    Owens wanted to pass it as well, and from there she found a passion for the industry.

In addition to receiving her degree, the rising scholar also wants to start a mentorship classroom at her high school. Her community service won’t start there though. Owens was the captain of her cheer team where she participated in hosting summer camps along with her team. She also tutored students at March Middle School in Mathematics.

Recipients of RMHCSC scholarships are selected through a rigorous application process and represent the highest caliber students in the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. These scholarships give the recipients an opportunity to pursue their education goals and help ease some of the collegiate financial burden. Interested applicants can begin the process for 2016 scholarships in October, 2015. More information about RMHCSC and its programs can be found at www.rmhcsc.org or on www.Facebook.com/RMHCSoCal and via Twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.

Sean Rooks, former NBA Player, Graduate of Fontana High School Dies of a Heart Attack

By Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Yahoo Sports

Hours after interviewing for an assistant-coaching job with the New York Knicks on Tuesday, former NBA center Sean Rooks collapsed and died in a Philadelphia restaurant.
Rooks, considered a warm and engaging gentleman within the basketball community, had been a player-development coach for the past two years with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean,” his mother, Deborah Brown, said in a statement released by the 76ers on Tuesday night. “Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time.”
Sean Rocks, 46, had traveled to New York and back on the train Tuesday, meeting with Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, general manager Steve Mills and president Phil Jackson about becoming an assistant coach. Rooks and Knicks officials had departed the meeting enthusiastic that Rooks might join Hornacek’s staff and that an agreement could be reached soon, league sources said.
He had gone to dinner in Philadelphia after returning from his trip to New York. He had been preparing to leave Wednesday for an NBA-sponsored trip to China. He also had an offer to become head coach of the Charlotte Hornets’ new NBA Development League affiliate.
Rocks had a 12-year NBA career, including stops with the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, New Orleans and Orlando Magic. After an honorable mention All-America career at the University of Arizona, Rooks was the 30th overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft.
As a coach, Rooks had been diligent in starting at the bottom of the pro basketball profession and working his way up. He spent five years in the D-League, including stops in Sioux Falls and Bakersfield, before landing a player-development job with the 76ers in 2014.

Our House Grief Support Center, a Los Angeles Nonprofit, Is Offering Two Weekend-Long, Free Camp Experiences for Children Ages 6-17

LOS ANGELES, CA- OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center is hosting two weekends at Camp Erin-LA this summer (June 10-12 and August 19-21) at the scenic Camp Bloomfield in Malibu. Camp Erin-LA is a weekend-long camp experience for children and teens ages 6 to 17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or guardian in the past 3 years. Camp is free of charge for all children and combines traditional camp activities with grief support, education, and remembrance projects. Typical fun and engaging camp favorites such as rock climbing, swimming, arts and crafts, and campfires are interspersed with projects and experiences used to facilitate expression of feelings, memorialize their loved one who died, and promote healing.

When campers arrive on Friday, they are greeted with open arms by the dozens of grief specialists and trained volunteers who guide the campers through a series of bonding and grief-related exercises, as well as fun high-energy physical activities. They begin their camp journey with an intimate Friday evening ceremony where each camper shares their name, the name of their loved one who died, and places a photo of that person on a “memory board.”   Saturday evening’s Luminary Ceremony is equally powerful and another opportunity to come together to say goodbye to their loved one by writing a message or drawing on a lantern that’s lit and set adrift across the pool. OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center recognizes every person’s grief is unique in duration and intensity, and that commonalities of experience strengthen the value of a grief support group in helping the healing process. “By offering Camp Erin-LA, OUR HOUSE puts a support system into place, offering a safe space to talk and providing the tools to cope with their grief,” said Michele Prince, Executive Director of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center. “Camp might be the only opportunity they have to work on their grief with other kids.”

Camp Erin is an initiative created and funded by The Moyer Foundation in Seattle, WA, a non-profit organization established by Major League All-Star pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen.  Camp Erin is named in memory of Erin Metcalf, a friend of the Moyers who lost her battle to cancer at age 17.   Camp Erin-LA was featured in an Emmy award-winning HBO documentary “One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp”, which was produced in association with The Moyer Foundation and OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center.

For more information about Camp Erin-LA, please visit www.ourhouse-grief.org/volunteer-opportunities/camp-erin-los-angeles.